Wedding dress and fashion history

Wedding fashion seems to change constantly. What is in style and beautiful today is outdated within a year.


Yet, looking over the wedding dress history, a lot was the same during the last century, even though a lot was different.

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1940s weddings were during wartime

Many weddings were quick affairs, and brides wore white suiting.


Almost two-thirds of the grooms of this era were enlisted in the military and got married in their military attire. Wedding bands for men were new and served as a symbol of commitment for soldiers away from home.

Weddings of the 1900s and 1910s

The brides in the early 1900s wore s-shaped corsets that enhanced an hourglass shape. Long sleeves, high collar and gloves added dignity and formality.


In the 1910s, dancing emerged as a wedding activity, causing slightly higher hemlines on the bride's and guests' gowns to assist with dancing. Makeup also gained popularity.

1920s - 1930s wedding styles

The flapper style occupies a central place in the bridal fashion of the 1920s, characterized by beautiful accessories and exaggerated Juliet veils, as well as detailed headdresses.


During the Great Depression of the '30s, weddings were a humble affair featuring repurposed gowns and minimal decor.

1950s and 1960s glamour weddings

As America emerged from WWII, weddings returned to glamour. Tiaras, ball gowns, beautiful cars and professional portraiture became trendy. Celebrity weddings offered exciting pastimes.


The 1960s featured London-inspired Mod style, shortening hemlines and A-line skirts. Big hair and bubble veils completed the look for the brides and long sideburns for the grooms.

1970s and 1980s Wedding styles

The 1970s showed brides with beautiful headpieces and high-neck dresses. The grooms came into style too, with velvet tuxedos and ruffled shirts.


The 1980s featured prairie-inspired silhouettes and ladylike hats.

Brides of the 1990s and 2000s

The appliqués of the 1990s brides dresses are characteristic of this era—shiny, long-sleeved ball gowns covered with sparkling, beaded lace.


The 2000s shows sleek, clingy satins, cap sleeves and straight-across strapless necklines.

2010s embraced themes

In the 2010s, weddings and bridal fashion have embraced themes in unprecedented ways: the rustic barn, bohemian style, garden, Italian villa and high fashion.


In the first decade of social media, the style of weddings has reached new heights, with people photographing weddings more than ever before.

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RELATED IDEAS

Fast Fashion
  • Fashion shifted to high gear in the last twenty years when trends started cropping up faster and clothes became inexpensive.
  • Shopping used to be an occasional indulgence earlier, but due to online shopping and rising income, it has become a hobby.
  • Fast fashion is clothing that is cheap but is copied from the trendy designs taken from big fashion brands, celebrities and the catwalk runway.
  • The newest styles are brought to the market so that customers can buy them while the trend is still hot, at a fraction of the cost of the original.
Upcycling as a solution to fast fashion

Recent decades are known for its fast fashion that adds to our overcrowded closets and landfills.

  • Americans discard 85 percent of the clothing they buy - about 15 million tons of textile waste a year.
  • The average lifetime of clothes is three years.
  • The clothing industry cause about 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

One eco-conscious solution is to buy thrifted items and upcycle them.

Celebrities are the biggest driving force in trend creation.

Companies often turn to celebrities to be spokespeople for their brands and products because celebrities are highly influential. They have a huge fan base and consequently a bigger reach than the latest fashion magazine.

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